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YEAR ONE

About The Film
In the beginning, there was nothing. Then, Harold Ramis had an idea. "I was thinking about two things in comedy that I love,” says the writer-director-producer. "One was Mel Brooks' Two-Thousand-Year-Old Man, and the other was an improvisation I staged 35 years ago with John Belushi and Bill Murray. Bill played a Cro-Magnon man with a completely hip and contemporary vibe, and John played a Neanderthal Man as an idiot. For this movie, I had those inspirations in mind when I thought it would be really interesting to put someone with a contemporary consciousness in an ancient setting.”

That's when he hit upon the idea for Year One. In his words: "Two innocent, know-nothing Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, Zed and Oh, get kicked out of their Garden of Eden paradise and begin a search for what life is all about.” Taking that trek is none other than Jack Black. "Zed is living a very tribal lifestyle in his primitive village with hunters and gatherers,” he says, "but he's wondering if there's more to life than just hunting, gathering, and sleeping.”

Joining Zed on the first road trip in history is Oh, played by Michael Cera. While Zed is aggressive in his pursuit of meaning, Oh dragged into the unknown kicking and screaming. "We called this character ‘Oh' because he's completely reacting to life and everything in life that is a threat to his character -- and he does suffer a lot in the movie,” the director chuckles. Shepherding the project is producer Judd Apatow, who teams with Ramis for the first time.

"It was a dream come true to get to work with Harold Ramis. Some of the highlights of my childhood were the days when I went with my friends to see Stripes, Ghostbusters, Caddyshack and Animal House. He is obviously one of my main inspirations. It has been a real honor to get to see him work up close. Sometimes I would be watching Harold work and think to myself, ‘Oh, this is where we got all these funny comedy team relationships from.' His work is hardwired into our brains.”

To write the screenplay, Ramis turned to a writing team that he knew well. Gene Stupnitsky had once served as Ramis's intern, and Lee Eisenberg had been a waiter at one of Ramis's favorite restaurants on Martha's Vineyard. Some years ago, the two met as production assistants on one of Ramis's films, started writing together, and then found better gigs: writing and executive producing the hit series "The Office.” "I really didn't want to write alone,” Ramis explains. "Who could I get who would really push me? They were ready for the challenge, full of ideas, and very professional. We had a great time.” As the characters fleshed out on the page, the director was cognizant that the actors cast would finally bring them to life. In his mind's eye, he saw Jack Black as his hero, Zed. "The whole time, I was thinking, ‘Wow, this could be great for Jack Black,” the director reminisces. "Jack really knows how to be silly and take big chances with comedy. He's incredibly sharp; there's a really great articulation to what he does.”

 "Harold loves actors – he encourages us to do our thing, he wants us to play,” says Black. Black goes on to say that it's the approach that Ramis feels is right for the film, but also what Ramis himself seems to enjoy. "I could always hear him laughing from video village. Whenever I heard ‘snortle chortle,' it warmed me. But I'd also be thinking, ‘Keep it down and don't ruin the take!'” Black was attracted to the project by the screenplay, which has a tone he admired. "I liked the script's attitude – nothing is sacred. It doesn't take anything seriously,” says Black. "Zed is very quick to assume that he's been chosen by the gods for some great mission,” Black continues.

"He thinks that will give him meaning in his life. He's a searche

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